Cat INV1250 Spec Review

The Cat INV1250 is a quiet, compact and lightweight portable inverter generator with a rated wattage of 1000 W and a starting wattage of 1250 W.

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Description

Take your outdoor adventures to the next level with the Cat® INV1250 portable inverter generator. Inverter technology provides a high-quality power that's safe for your sensitive electronics. Cat® CO DEFENSE™Carbon Monoxide Sensing & Shutdown technology keeps you, your family, and friends safe. (source: Cat (opens in a new tab))

Zoom on the Cat INV1250

In summary, the Cat INV1250 is a quiet, compact and lightweight portable inverter generator especially useful for:

  • Tailgating and campground aficionados with the desire of enjoying power anywhere they go
  • Amateur DIY lovers

In the following paragraphs, we shall explore the power characteristics, available outlets, portability, and any additional features of the device, along with its emission compliance information.

Power & Run Time

The Cat INV1250 in use

The Cat INV1250

The Cat INV1250's core is the 60 cc OHV 4-stroke engine, which runs on gasoline. With an output of 120V, it provides a running wattage of 1000W and a peak wattage of 1250W. Additionally, as the generator is parallel capable (parallel kit not included), it can be linked to a second unit for more power.

Enjoying a noise rating of 52 dBA (just slightly more noisy than a conversation at home), this inverter generator gets running thanks to a conventional pull-start mechanism.

With a full tank, the INV1250 can operate for around 7.9 hours at 50% load (fuel consumption around 0.1 GPH), thanks to its fuel capacity of 0.8 gallon.

Delicate electronics can be plugged in an AC outlet safely, as the INV1250 generates a clean sine wave, reaching a <3% Total Harmonic Disruption (THD).

Outlets

The control panel features the following AC outlet:

120V 20A (5-20R) receptacle

In addition, it provides 2 DC outlets: there's two 5V USB ports with which you may charge electronics, for example mobile phones or tablets, conveniently.

Portability

The Cat INV1250's characteristic encased inverter generator design (L18.3 x W11.5 x H16.6 in), provides an esthetical advantage over any ordinary, open frame product. The generator has a contemporary design, convenient for recreationally generating power.

With a weight of only 33.1 lbs, the INV1250 may be viewed as a lightweight and portable generator. A single person should not have any problems moving it around and thus, enjoy power availability on-the-go. Its handle (molded in the case) allows you to carry it easily, further enhancing its convenience.

Features

Panel of the Cat INV1250

The INV1250's control panel

The device’s light indicators will display if the generator is on overload, its oil levels are insufficient and the generator is ready.

The inverter generator includes a built-in fuel gauge, a quick, easy and convenient method of checking the device’s gas level.

Security-wise, this product benefits from an overload protection (circuit breaker) and an automatic low oil shut-off, which gives you a complete peace of mind when using it.

The INV1250 also benefits from Cat’s CO DEFENSE™ carbon monoxide shutdown. This system monitors the accumulation of CO gas while the generator is running and will shut off the engine if the levels become dangerously high. It’s a welcomed additional security feature, but don’t forget to always take your generator outside (opens in a new tab).

While the standard documentation and an owner's manual (opens in a new tab), helpful for starting the device promptly, come with the Cat INV1250, the following accessories are also included: tool kit, funnel and oil.

Emissions

The Cat INV1250 is EPA-approved and CARB-compliant. Therefore, its sale and purchase are permitted in all of the 50 states, including California.

Moreover, it features a spark arrestor, which makes it suitable for use in forested areas.

The Cat INV1250 versus other generators

The following charts are provided to give you an idea of how some of the key specs of the Cat INV1250 compare to generators of similar power (between 500 and 1500 W).

  • As far as its dry weight is concerned, the Cat INV1250 weighs just 33.1 pounds and thus, it is one of the lighter 500 to 1500 rated wattage generators. If weight is your top priority, one of the champions in this power category is the Sportsman GEN1000i, weighing just 20.3 pounds.
  • As its lowest possible noise is rated at 52 dBA, this inverter generator qualifies as one of the more quiet of the products of similar power. If noise emissions are one of your priorities, you may be interested in the Honda EU1000i, one of the least noisy generators similarly powerful as this one, rated for 42 dBA.
  • As the INV1250 offers around 7.9 hours run time on a full tank at a 50% load, it falls within the average autonomy range among the generators of a similar power. If autonomy is your priority, one of the devices of a similar power output with the highest run time is the Pulsar PG2000, reaching around 12 hours.
  • The run time is important, but also hugely depends on the capacity of the fuel tank and doesn't mean much if we don't talk about fuel consumption as well. This inverter generator, with an estimated fuel consumption of just 0.1 GPH (gallon per hour) at 50% load, is one of the more fuel efficient generators, for the previously mentioned wattage range. If you wish to further improve in the area of fuel efficiency, the Ryobi RYi1000, which boasts with a gas consumption of only 0.08 GPH, may be the right generator for you.

The bottom line

STRENGTHS:
  • CO DEFENSE™ technology
  • Several accessories included
  • Parallel capable
  • Inverter
  • Lightweight (33.1 lbs)
  • Quiet for its power (52 dBA)
  • Fuel efficient
AVERAGE SPECS:
  • Decent run time
WEAKNESSES:
  • No data center
  • Only 1 AC outlet
  • No electric start

Do you own the Cat INV1250 and agree (or disagree) with these strengths and weaknesses?

Let us know and write your own review.

Features and Specifications

General
InverterYes
PortableYes
Parallel capableYes, cable not included
RV readyNo
FuelGasoline
Engine60 cc OHV 4-stroke
Starting systemRecoil
Power
VoltageAC: 120V 60 Hz, DC: 5V
Running watts1000 W
Starting watts1250 W
Running amps8.3 amps
Peaks amps10.4 amps
Run time @50% load7.9 h
Run time @25% loadUnknown
Features
GFCI outletsNo
Covered outletsNo
Automatic Voltage RegulationInverter
AC outlets1x 120V 20A (5-20R)
DC outlets2x 5V USB port
Data centerNo
IndicatorsLow oil, overload and output ready
Fuel tankPlastic, 0.8 gal
Fuel gaugeYes
Misc
Weight33.1 lbs
Approx. dimensions (L x W x H)18.3 x 11.5 x 16.6 in
Noise (lower limit)52 dBA
THD< 3%
EmissionsCARB, EPA
SecurityLow oil and overload protection
Spark arrestorYes
NeutralBonded to frame
Accessories includedOil, funnel, and tool kit
Warranty3 years
Other model numbers501-5453

Unlike many websites, we did our best to research each of the specs above. That being said, we are not immune to making the occasional mistake or omission. Should you notice any missing or incorrect values, don't hesitate to suggest improvements so we can address the issue.

About Cat

Caterpillar Inc., often abbreviated as simply CAT, is an American engineering corporation, whose product range includes machinery, engines, financial products, mobile phones and of course, power generators. The company, founded in 1925, is one of the backbones of the US Dow Jones index and is placed among the Fortune 500 list. While CAT mainly focuses on industrial scale generators, it also provides a wide range of portable and household-scaled devices. A majority of the industrial-scale CAT products is made in the USA. However, the production of many of their household products is reported to be outsourced overseas.

Warranty Information

The Cat INV1250 is covered under a warranty for up to 3 years. This warranty may be limited and may not cover all parts of the generator.
For more information about the warranty of Cat generators, please consult Cat's warranty policies (opens in a new tab). Alternatively, you can also contact their Customer Support: 1-844-PWR-ME-UP (844-797-6387).

Questions & Answers

What can it power?
Examples of items that can be simultaneously powered.
The examples below are based on a maximum load of 80% and estimated wattages. For a more accurate estimation, use our generator sizer.
ItemRunning WattsStarting Watts
At homeRefrigerator (energy star)1921192
Set of 5 LED light bulbs5555
Total247 W1247 W
For campingRV refrigerator180600
Coffee maker600600
Total780 W1200 W
For workReciprocating saw730960
Total730 W960 W

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